Jolie McKibben had a choice – either hang from a noose or marry a stranger. Naturally, she chose the latter and found herself immediately married to Daniel Beckham before she could begin to recover from the traumatic experience of almost losing her life. She doesn’t understand the motivation behind Dan’s charitable act, but she swears he won’t regret it and that somehow she’ll make him believe that she isn’t guilty of the crimes she’s been accused of.
Dan thought his heart had died along with his wife and children, but when he saw Jolie about to be executed but still proud and defiant, he couldn’t just stand by and let her hang. However, his only means of rescuing Jolie was to invoke the town’s “wedding ordinance” and consequently Dan found himself with a wife he didn’t want. Dan doesn’t even try to deny the passion Jolie arouses in him, but he promises that he will never be able to love her. He feels that he can he enjoy Jolie’s body and accept her help around the farm temporarily, and then find her a “real” husband later. But Jolie has fallen in love with Dan, and she is not about to let him get rid of her that easy!
Daniel’s Bride is the definition of a novel being impossible to put down! I was hooked from the very first chapter and there was never a lull in this fast paced, sensual story. The plot of two strangers marrying under such circumstances was full of promise and lived up to its potential. The setting of the old west was richly detailed and Ms. Miller gave much insight into the hardships and trials of the lives of those in that period. And the characters were just as well written as the setting. I loved Jolie’s spunk as well as her kind, generous heart. Dan hid his soft heart behind a wall of indifference and gruffness, but it was just as evident throughout the story in his treatment of Jolie and the two runaway children he takes in.
In addition to the romance between Jolie and Dan, the plot is rounded out with a touch of suspense and danger added by the two outlaws Jolie had become entangled with. Their involvement provided just the right amount of tension to really keep the story moving, without taking away from the emerging love between the principal characters.
Daniel’s Bride is a testimony to Ms. Miller’s longtime standing as one of the romance genre’s leading authors!